Inequality

(By Briana Hunt) Inequality is a recurring theme in the writings of Plato, Rousseau, Marx, and Wollonstonecraft. Each of these texts provide a different point of view on the world in each of their respective time periods. In Plato, we are given a Socratic dialogue between men dissecting the meaning of injustice, and if justice is attainable by all. Marx focuses on government and if they are providing the protection for their people or it is just facade to perpetuate inequality to serve the elite. Rousseau examines the primal elements of inequality, and Wollonstonecraft centers on women’s role in society. These works are meant to provoke thought, and have remained relevant centuries later. 

“The troubles and penalties of being just are apparent; but the unjust person, who has secured for himself a reputation for justice; lives the life of a god” (Plato pg 43, 365c). The men were discussing wether people live better living an unjust life, maintaining an unequal society is beneficial to the ones in power. Plato, and C. D. C. Reeve. Republic. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2004. Print.
"There are appetites of terrible, savage, and lawless kind in everyone- even in those of us who seem to be entirely moderate" (Plato pg 271, 572b5). This is about the upbringing, although you are raised a certain way, you are still capable of corruption and creating an unjust and unequal government. This photo portrays the results of such a ruler. Plato, and C. D. C. Reeve. Republic. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2004. Print.
“The extreme inequalities in the manner of living of the several classes of mankind, the excess idleness in some, and of labors in others” (Rousseau, pg 538). Rousseau says most of our ills are our own making, and talks about how upper classes live in excess while others are worried about basic necessities. This also leads the poor to strive for greed. The photo is of a flyer with demands to end disparities and make the job of firefighters more equal so they are being rewarded properly for their work. This shows that Rousseau's work is still relevant in todays world and sadly showing the lack of change in todays society. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. A Discourse upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality among Mankind. S.l.: Public Domain, 2006. Print.
"All offered their necks to the yoke in hopes of securing their liberty; for though they had sense enough to perceive advantages of a political constitution, they had not experience enough to see beforehand the dangers of it" (Rousseau, 1207). Uniting people under a governing rule was a veiled attempt to enforce different systems of oppression instead of protect groups of people leading to inequality. Property became more important. The Bill of Rights is a perfect example due to contradictory practices in real life. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. A Discourse upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality among Mankind. S.l.: Public Domain, 2006. Print.
"the theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence: Abolition of private property" (Marx, 23). Private property is only present for a small portion of society, the majority doesn't have any. Eliminating bourgeois property is one step to balance the inequality in society. This painting, the Allegory of Good Government, represents a time of an unstable government where this shows how thing could be with better conditions and rules of government. Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. Manifesto of the Communist Party. New York: International, 1948. Print.
"If fear in girls, instead of being cherished, perhaps created, were treated in the same manner as fear in boys, we would quickly see women with more dignified aspects" (Wollstonecraft, 1083). This is an important quote because Wollonstonecraft reveals the origin of the inequalities faced by women. Women are not inferior to men, but social conditioning and policies prevent them from progressing and being able to attain the same amount of success as men. This photo was chosen because it is of a time in France where Rousseau was no longer the prominent ideal in politics. It was a second expansion of the feminist movement and women were voicing there opinions publicly. This was after Wollstonecraft's time, an image of the progress she desired. Wollstonecraft, Mary. N.p.: n.p., 2011. Vindication of the Rights of Woman. 24 Mar. 2011. Web. 19 June 2015.
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